Anthony de Mello was a Jesuit priest and director of the Sadhana Center of Pastoral Counseling in Poona, India. He is the author of many books including Sadhana, The Heart of the Enlightened, and Rediscovering Life: Awaken to Reality. He died in 1987 of a heart attack. For more information on his life, books, and ministry see: www.demellospirituality.com.
The Way to Love is a collection of 32 meditations by this pioneer of interspirituality, a teacher and preacher who used an amazing repertoire of stories to spark fresh thought, and a Catholic whose faith and good works were deepened and enriched by his exposure and study of other religions. All of these aspects of his writing are showcased in this paperback.
In his introduction, J. Francis Stroud suggests:
"Take each one of these meditations and carry them with you throughout your day. Challenge his ideas, mull over his thoughts, and then be silent."
In the meditation on "Discipleship," de Mello explores some of the reasons why we rarely feel happy about ourselves or our lives. We tell ourselves stories about the things we want but cannot have. Instead of being grateful, we take all that we do possess for granted.
If happiness is the sun shining brightly on a beautiful day, we tend to view the same day as partly cloudy with the possibility of rain. Worry, disappointment, regrets, fear, and stress are the clouds we produce. Let's not blame God for our unhappy situation.
The world we create in our heads is the one that should be set aside for a new world of our minds animated by gratitude, joy, and attention. This path will lead to a carefree life similar to that of children and the plants and birds Jesus talked about.
"God's kingdom is love," writes de Mello, and for him, this love is just another word for freedom. He also believes that "the finest act of love you can perform is not an act of service but an act of contemplation, of seeing." So keep your love flowing and don't exclude anyone from your heart — even enemies.